Last week, I shared how I’ve been meal prepping to streamline cooking throughout the week and I was shocked at the response I received. After requests to talk more about this surpassed requests to talk about my favorite underwear -that’s a LOT, friends- I’m here to break down my simple system and some easy ideas to start with.
I have gone through a few different seasons of meal prepping. In the first few years of marriage when I was heavily into my fitness goals and daily training, I did the typical meal prep of making a bunch of chicken breasts, tilapia and greens. When O retired from the NFL and began working from home, I started meal prepping so.much.meat for us to have for both lunch and dinners. Once the kids were born, I essentially stopped meal prepping.
Let me just say-meal prep does take the better part of a day. I don’t know about you, but that sounds daunting. Who has “the better part of a day” to give?! Let me tell you this, friend: giving time one day to give yourself back time every other day is worth it. It’s magical.
As a work at home mom with no childcare, that time is absolutely essential. Our goal is to have the kids in bed at 7pm which means dinner needs to be on the table at 5 on the dot. This means every time 3:45 rolls around, I’d wander into the kitchen and get to chopping, dicing, slicing, roasting or whatever it was and if the meal was more intricate, it starts even earlier. Not anymore. Not. Any. More.
First- why meal prep? Meal Prep reduces food waste and excess spending, saves time at mealtime, provides quick healthy options to ward off junky snacking and ensures there is something in fridge for Oshiomogho and I to eat at lunch time since we both work from home.
Second- what do I need to meal prep? As you know, having a non-toxic kitchen is important to me. You do not by any means need these items to meal prep and anything you have in your kitchen will do, but these are the non-toxic items that help me get the job done:
Sheet Pan Salmon
Carnitas– just prepare the meat and assemble day-of
Salmon Patties – make the patties and stop just before cooking them. Store them in the freezer and cook when you’re ready
Energy Balls– I keep in the fridge as a snack for the kids and O
Lentil Chili– cook completely and reheat on the stove. serve with corn chips, vegan sour cream and vegan shredded cheese.
Vegan Black Bean Stuffed Peppers
Cleaning, chopping and preparing vegetables and fruits for everyone to be able to grab and go is a game changer too. Think carrots, celery, cucumbers, grapes and berries.
I hope this helps you if you’re looking to begin meal prepping. With that, I’m headed back to the kitchen to get the vegetables in the oven.
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Loved the recipes you linked! I am excited to try a few new ones, including the carnitas taco’s! They look so fresh and yummy. I noticed in the tools section above you didn’t list a knife set you like? I just got purchased a Shun knife from W&S. Been a game changer for me! We had received a lovely henkels knife set for our wedding 13 years ago and while they are wonderful they are heavy! Really loving my new shun! Link here – https://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/shun-classic-blonde-8-inch-chef-knife/?pkey=cknives-shun. Another not super expensive but helpful tool for me was this weekly menu from paper source. It has helped simplify my life! https://riflepaperco.com/rosa-weekly-meal-planner
Hi, Amanda! I actually use both of those exact things!! We have the Shun knife block which in hindsight I wouldn’t get-I would have gotten 3 or of them rather than the whole block but I totally agree, they’re fantastic! I’ve used and loved that RP meal planner for years and only just last month switched to a different one. I literally only switched because I had used the other pad since 2018! Hahah thank you for your great recommendations!!